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2 About RBS (who kindly sponsored this guide) Supporting the Social enterprise sector is an integral part of RBS s strategy to support enterprises and help them achieve their ambitions. Supporting enterprise is not just about providing banking products and services. It is about taking a longer term view of how we work with customers and wider communities to help them become more sustainable. To achieve this, we work with partners and networks to create opportunities for businesses which have traditionally struggled to access financial services. By helping unleash the entrepreneurial talent across the UK, we hope to maximise our impact by delivering business expertise in the communities in which we operate. Our long-established Community Banking team exists to support enterprise with a social purpose and help to promote sustainability, and develop the social finance & investment marketplace by working with groups and organisations facing particular challenges in accessing finance and starting up or growing their businesses. These activities also help to support the professionalisation of the sector and open up access to financial services for socially-excluded groups. This underlies the RBS Group s commitment to supporting enterprise, sharing our customer s ambitions and delivering business expertise. We also support the RBS SE100 Index because, like any other part of the economy, it is important to gather as much market intelligence as possible. This information is invaluable in helping the social enterprise sector to flourish. We provide a range of banking products for charities and social enterprises. These organisations can also benefit from the wideranging support provided by our Community Banking team. We also offer more specialist support, delivered through more than 100 Community Ambassador Relationship Managers across the UK. is working with RBS to build knowledge and awareness of social enterprise among its frontline banking teams. Our aim is to make it easier to set up and run a social enterprise. About this guide Social enterprise is an exciting and fast-growing sector and movement both in the UK and around the world. More and more people want to do business and do good at the same time, and this is what social enterprise is all about. Setting up a social enterprise or changing an organisation from a charity, public sector or private business into a successful social enterprise can be a daunting, exhilarating and challenging experience. But it s one that the UK s successful social enterprise leaders will tell you they are very glad they had. You can sometimes feel alone on the journey and that s why it s vital to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before you. With that in mind, we ve produced this highly practical guide extracted from Your Chance to Change the World, a book by leading social entrepreneur Craig Dearden-Phillips to give you the knowledge, confidence and inspiration to make your idea a reality. There s a lot of information out there for start-ups, and this guide takes you through the essentials, but we focus on the parts that are most important in a social enterprise. Social enterprises have some unique challenges. For example in a social enterprise you don t just have to worry about keeping the customer satisfied. You have to satisfy your social ambitions too whether that means serving a community, protecting the environment or solving a social problem. This guide is intended to help you get your head round the essentials. Throughout the guide we ve provided some words of wisdom from social entrepreneurs they tweeted us their advice what they wish they d known when they were starting out. We wish you every success on the journey. And we d like to help you on the way please join, the membership body for social enterprises. Visit or 2 3

3 About social enterprise Contents Business is a powerful force for change. When the forces of business and social justice come together, amazing things can happen. They are already happening all over the UK, which is widely regarded to be a world-leader in social enterprise. Social enterprises are using business to tackle social problems, improve communities, improve people s life chances and protect the environment. They are creating shared wealth and social justice. If you re new to social enterprise and want to know more please visit You might want to read our beginners guide, Social Enterprise Explained. If you re working in the public sector and want to create a social enterprise you might want to read our Spin-out guide, The Right to Run. About Together with our members we are the voice for social enterprise. We do research, provide information and tools, share knowledge, build networks, raise awareness and campaign to create a business environment where social enterprises can thrive. Everything we do is done with and through our members. We have a network of almost 9,000 organisations and operate a very busy website. We also have a lively and growing social media presence. Follow us on or visit us at 1. Getting started: your first business plan 2. The social enterprise approach 3. Finding investment and funding Setting out Where to start Sources of finance and funding Finding investment and funding writing successful bids 4. Deciding on your legal structure 5. Finding and keeping the best people 6. Finding the right partners 7. Keeping on top of the money 8. Governance: building a board of trustees and directors 9. Growing and scaling up your business 10. Looking after number one 11. Where to go for structured support

4 1. Getting started Why Social Enterprise? There are lots of reasons to make your venture a social enterprise. First and foremost, if your fledgling business has a social purpose and you are going to trade to fulfil it, then it sounds like it already is a social enterprise. Formalising this by using some of the business methods described below should help you be successful in the long run. And being part of a growing, thriving sector, meeting your peers and learning from other pioneers should help you survive and enjoy the journey. There are other benefits for example many local authorities give business rate relief to identifiable social enterprises, saving considerable costs to those that apply and qualify for it. For more information please visit What makes it officially a social enterprise? Social enterprise is not a legal term, but an approach. The phrase is used to describe businesses that exist for a social purpose. You can t register your business legally as a social enterprise. There are various legal forms that are used to incorporate social enterprises. In the end, being a social enterprise is about adopting a set of principles. These include: Having a clear social and/or environmental mission (set out in your governing documents) Generating the majority of your income through trade Your first business plan Why Social Enterprise? One of the first things you will need is, of course, a business plan. Before you start to plan your venture in detail, you first need to ask yourself whether your idea has legs. There will be some hard thinking to do before you invest lots of time, money and energy into something. Ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve and is a business the way to do it? What will my business do? Who wants to buy my product or service? How will the business operate? Who will benefit? Can I explain my business simply and concisely? What is the long-term purpose of the business? Why do I want to create this business? What will my business be known for? What s it going to look like in five years? Reinvesting the majority of your profits to further the social mission This is regardless of what form the organisation takes. So if you have these in place you are acting as a social enterprise. 6 7

5 2. The Social Enterprise approach Whatever your business is all about, you will need to think all of these points through in a hard-headed way. Here are some of the critical questions for a social enterprise: What is your offer? Every new business or charity needs to solve a problem. The key questions facing any new venture are: Where s the pain? What problem are you trying to solve? Who, exactly, are you seeking to help? What is distinctive or new about your approach to this problem? Who will pay for what you do? The question of who pays? is always more complex than simply planning to sell lots of products or services. Sales may form part of your income but there may be an element of grant funding, sponsorship or giving. Many social enterprises need support in the form of non-trading income, especially to get off the ground. But in the end what makes it a social enterprise is the ability to do good through doing business, rather than through charity donations. What s your business plan? Your business plan should be short and to the point no more than 20 pages. It should answer all the big questions facing your new venture such as: What vision of the future are you working towards? What is the purpose or mission of your new venture? Who else is in your field or is competing with you? It should start by setting out clearly: Your vision: What are your ambitions? In an ideal future, how will the world be different because of what your business achieves? Your mission: What, in concrete terms, are you hoping to achieve? Your goals: How is your mission going to be turned into reality? What specific actions are you going to take and over what timeframe? To understand more about the basic elements of business planning, go to or Business Link has lots of general information for start-ups and should give you some food for thought. Who is the competition? Make a frank assessment of the sector you are in and the strengths and weaknesses of other organisations working in it. 8 9

6 Case study: Women Like Us In 2004, Emma Stewart and Karen Mattison, two former colleagues both found themselves in the same position. Both were mums to young families, who wanted to balance work with family. Like many women, they decided to look for part time work at their level of skill and experience. And, like many women, a year later, they had still found nothing. Realising that there was a gaping part time shaped hole in the recruitment market for professional roles, and refusing to believe that businesses wouldn t want the skills of candidates with years experience, just in part time hours - they decided to tackle the problem head on. In 2005, they launched Women Like Us, a recruitment firm specialising in part time work, structured around the social aim to help women to find jobs they can fit with family. Women Like Us solves three parts of the problem building a community of candidates who are looking specifically for part time work, providing them with advice and support and recruiting staff from amongst them for employers who need talented candidates with experience. Women Like Us offers its candidates workshops on tackling CVs, interviews and career direction (offering a number of free places to those from low income backgrounds). Women Like Us is now a multi award winning social enterprise with 30,600 women on its books and has recruited staff ranging from part time IT managers through to part time Heads of Comms. It finds staff for small businesses all the way through to employers such as Santander, Ofcom and Tesco. In 2010 Karen and Emma were made MBEs Advice from Karen Mattison: 1. Never give up when doors are closed on you, push on them! 2. If you have a voice that tells you it might be too late to make your dream come true ignore it. You regret what you don t do, more 3. Sure you want to go it alone? If you know someone who shares your vision and your values - start up with a friend. My co-founder Emma and I launched Women Like Us together, which allowed us to both make time for our families and live the values of part time working... and we still haven t had a row after 6 / 7 years in business together! 10 11

7 Doing good business Social enterprises often concentrate on the social side of their businesses at the expense of the commercial side. By the time you ve looked after your staff and stakeholders, there s a risk there could be little left for the paying customer. It s easy to get the balance wrong, but if you do the result could be that you lose your customers, swiftly followed by your business and your staff. Negotiating all these relationships can leave you feeling pulled in different directions so how do you do it? First, keep the business in balance - don t ignore the money-making side of things. Second, be brutally honest about what is achievable. Have honest discussions with beneficiaries about what is achievable on the social side. Wherever possible, involve beneficiaries in the running of the business. Social enterprise can be an excellent tool for empowering people workforce and communities. Successful businesses whether social or not do five things extremely well: 1. They obsess about customers needs and strive hard to make customers happy. 2. They shape their message or brand to fit their target market. 3. They achieve the right marketing mix a blend of price and presentation that outshines the competition. 4. They negotiate good deals. 5. They deliver their products and services to a very high standard. Knowing your customers and stakeholders As a social enterprise you will most likely have to juggle different kinds of customer and stakeholder relationships from normal businesses all of which will make demands on your time. You will have your customers the people who buy your products or services. You will also have your beneficiaries the people your enterprise exists to help. Chances are you will also need to maintain strong relationships with stakeholders such as funding bodies. - how important it is for the vision to be aligned with all the team as well as having clear role and responsibilities! Getting the marketing mix right The marketing mix is a useful way to think about what your new venture is offering. Think of your services as having four dimensions: Product What are you offering to the customer? Price What do you need to charge to supply the product or service? Place Where is the customer going to shop for your product? Promotion How are you going to encourage customers to buy your products? 12 13

8 3. Finding investment and funding Defining your brand What relevance does branding have to your new venture? In short: everything. Brand isn t about just having an expensive logo it goes far deeper than that. Brand is about the values and feelings people associate with your new venture s name and it is communicated in the way your organisation sounds and acts. At the beginning, define your brand and think about what you want other people to know, think and feel about your business. Negotiating good deals Good negotiation is about four things: understanding what you hope to achieve from a given deal, knowing what the other side is looking for, looking for win-win solutions every time. Finally, it s all about understanding what your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is and using it as your benchmark throughout a negotiation process. Negotiating contracts Nowhere is negotiation more important than in the drawing up of contracts. A contract is a binding legal agreement which normally specifies deliverables, price and timing of payment. It also enshrines the balance of risk carried by each party. 1. Setting out The economic climate is tough and getting tougher so securing early funding or investment for your venture will probably be one of your biggest challenges. It s worth understanding how you go about finding investment as well as what potential sources are out there. The importance of networking Whilst networking is incredibly important for budding social entrepreneurs, the key skill isn t working out what you need from others (that should be easy) but working out what others might need from you. Great networkers are generous to others as they hope others might be to them. Networking is also a key skill in raising funds and a great source of up-to-date information. Use social networking and always be on the lookout for events, trade shows and meetings to build your network. The importance of raising your profile Being known and understood is a pre-requisite to raising money. Profile-raising also enables you to punch above your weight as an organisation. Having a profile helps a funder to feel more confident about you. Think about how you can generate media interest in your work and use the stories of the people you are helping through your venture. simon fall in love with ideas don t be seduced by them; make friends with some1 who knows more than u; join/form group of like minds The importance of being able to sell Like most things, selling is a skill that can be learned. Mike Southon, author of Sales on a Beermat, says that the principles of selling are very simple: 14 15

9 Be liked People buy from people they like, not those they don t. Qualify Ensure you re talking to the right person always talk to the decision maker. Close Make the ask. We often avoid cutting to the chase, especially if money is involved. But the cliché is true if you don t ask, you don t get. Attitude is everything You don t have to be a genius to raise money but you do need to have the right attitude. This starts by accepting, deep-down, the fact that your organisation doesn t have the right to exist nobody owes you a bean. Accept this and you re half-way there. From here, the right attitude involves a level of enthusiasm and enjoyment. As you ll see, funders can detect this it inspires them. They like individuals and organisations that present themselves in a positive and compelling way. How to handle the all-important sales pitch So, you re there, the big meeting. You ve got half an hour. What do you actually do? First off, spend no more than five minutes explaining your vision and mission. Most people can t take much more than a five-minute speech. Stick to the real basics who you are, your vision, and use examples to show your vision in action. Everyone likes to hear inspiring stories. Don t rely too much on facts and figures at this stage, just a couple of killer stats will do. Towards the end of your short presentation, turn the focus onto your host: how can you help your potential funder? What do they get for the money they give you how do they get their objectives met? After the presentation, the meeting should evolve into a conversation. At this stage, you ll know if the person might be interested in what you have to offer. Their body language will be positive. Now it s time for you to stop and to give them time to ask questions or talk themselves. 2. Where to start Whether you re starting out or looking to grow, you will probably need access to some form of finance. So where can you go? This section goes through the various types of finance out there, the benefits of each and where you might go to get some. Main types of finance Grants can be great as they don t need to be repaid, and they can really help in the early stages, but there are some drawbacks. They can be inflexible and can often only be used for very specific purposes. They can also limit an organisation s ability to raise finance through other means as they often don t allow you to make any surplus and therefore build reserves. Venture philanthropy is a type of grant that aims to apply the hands-on management techniques of venture capitalists to grantmaking. Grants are given but in a form resembling investment, and the venture philanthropist may wish to be hands on in the organisation. Debt finance is usually available as a commercial loan. These can usually be put to more flexible use than grants. They are also assessed on their own merits rather than against other applications as is the case with most grants. The disadvantage is that not only will the loan need to be repaid, usually with interest; lenders will often look for security over assets, such as land, buildings or equipment or even a personal guarantee on the loan, which may be a big risk to consider. Equity finance involves the exchange of finance or capital for partownership of the business. Quasi-equity is a form of debt that has some traits of equity, such as having flexible or performance-related repayment options

10 What do you need the money for? Different circumstances and needs lend themselves to different types of finance. For example, social enterprises often use grant funding to start up new income-generating activities and then look for non-grant finance as the enterprise develops to become more self-sufficient. Commercial finance is often called for when a specific financial need has arisen or longterm planning requires financial sources beyond grants and generated income. Examples include purchasing property, managing ongoing cash needs, funding a growth in operations and renovating a building. Amount of finance How much finance you need will also affect your options as some finance providers have limits on what they will lend or give. Grants vary in size depending on the grantmaker. Commercial banks often don t consider loans for less than 10,000 but can consider much larger sums. Equity finance tends to start at even larger sums, typically 250,000 or higher, although some providers might make smaller investments. Your legal structure The legal status of your organisation may affect the forms of finance you can use. For example, many social enterprises are registered as companies limited by guarantee, a legal form that does not allow companies to raise equity through issuing shares. Your business model Finally but most importantly the type of finance you raise must be suited to your business model. It is important to consider things such as the stage of development of the enterprise; the market in which it operates; the management and capacity of the enterprise to carry out its strategy; and the enterprise s self-sufficiency and/or the sustainability of grant funding. 3. Sources of finance and funding Funding Central is a website that provides access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities and tools and resources supporting organisations to develop sustainable income strategies that meet their needs. Finding Finance is a tool for finding finance from Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). ClearlySo is an online marketplace for social business and enterprise, commerce and investment. The Social Investment Market in the UK, is a guide produced by JPA group which includes an appendix of UK Venture Philanthropy Funds, Social Venture Funds, Social Investment Funds and Infrastructure Organisations. Please also see the NCVO website and s forthcoming guide Social Investment Explained Grant-making trusts There are around 400 trusts you can apply to for funding and a number of guides and web-based products available that list them. However, trusts vary widely in their character and remit so it s worth making sure that you apply to one that aligns with your business. You can find more details here and Big Lottery gives over 630 million a year. It is still a very good place to look for money for your organisation, particularly in its early days. (www.biglotteryfund.org.uk) 18 19

11 The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation funds the charitable activities of organisations that have the ideas and ability to achieve change for the better. They support work that might otherwise be considered difficult to fund. Funds aimed at start-ups There are now a handful of organisations that specialise in helping social entrepreneurs. The most prominent of these is UnLtd (www. unltd.org). UnLtd is the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs and gives out awards these are packages of cash and support to social entrepreneurs in the UK. Venture philanthropy organisations The Impetus Trust is a venture philanthropy organisation. CAN runs a venture philanthropy programme called CAN Breakthrough. This provides funding and management support to help established social enterprises scale up and maximise their social impact. Funding is concentrated on established organisations with three years trading. Social investors and social lenders Big Issue Invest is a specialist provider of finance to social enterprises or trading arms of charities that are finding business solutions to create social and environmental transformation. They provide finance for social enterprises in the form of loans, participation loans and equity, offering finance between 50,000 and 500,000. They can also arrange finance in partnership with other social finance institutions for amounts over 500,000. Bridges Ventures funds have specific strategies to achieve a positive social and/or environmental impact. Bridges Ventures have 150m under management in two venture funds, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund and the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund. CAF Venturesome offers social purpose organisations support and capital, recognising that this type of investment may fall outside of the criteria of grant-makers and is often perceived as too risky for banks. The Social Investment Business helps social enterprises, charities and community organisations prosper by providing innovative financial and business support. Social Finance provides a range of financial advice services to help build the social investment market. They are dedicated to finding ways to raise capital through robust investment propositions. There are many other lenders please also see Charity Bank, Triodos and Unity Trust, for example

12 4. Writing successful bids and proposals Fundraising is becoming more and more competitive in the UK. As a new, small organisation, you may need fundraising more than sales to get started. Faced with this, what do you do? How should you approach the myriad of funding agencies out there? How should you prioritise? How do you differentiate yourself? Before you start applying anywhere, you need to think about a number of things: Write a funding strategy Most organisations, even new ones, consist of a number of different work streams. You need to break your venture down into fundable blocks of work. How you do this is up to you but you will need to parcel up your operations in ways that make sense as individual projects. Develop a budget that includes all your costs It is quite common, especially early on, for funders to ask for the core costs of a project without asking for full organisational overheads. People sometimes don t know how to cost these or think they ll do better if these core costs are excluded. Don t make that mistake. Research possible funding organisations When faced with a large number of possible sources of funding it is tempting to adopt a scattergun approach. However, it is far better to identify a small number of funders that seem a good fit for example, target those who fund start-ups. The best guides to funding are produced by Directory of Social Change and can be ordered from their website (www.dsc.org.uk). Research the need You have become a social entrepreneur for a reason. Know your reason inside out. You need to be able to describe, in exact terms, the nature of the need you re in business to meet. This is your market you have to be authoritative and you must be able to talk about the need in a convincing way. As a new social entrepreneur, you need big statistics, personal examples or stories, an explanation of why others are failing and why it s right that you should set up this enterprise yourself. How to write a successful bid Always follow the bid guidelines It seems obvious but it s surprising how many people fail to do this and render their bid useless. Nearly all organisations that give or lend money invest a lot of time in their guidance to applicants. Ignoring this goes down badly so whatever you do, stick to the brief. Assume they know nothing about you When you re setting up your organisation you live and breathe it. This is fine until you start trying to talk to other people who find what you do deeply obscure. Remember you re writing for a person. This person is, at best, an intelligent onlooker, not a specialist. They need the basics spelled out to them. Think inputs, outputs and outcomes It s easy to write bids that don t differentiate between the above. This results in a confusing jumble. Funders increasingly look at potential projects, both formally and informally, under these headings so make it easier and spell it out for them. Here is a basic explanation of the difference: 22 23

13 Outputs An activity usually results in something demonstrable or countable. These are outputs what you have done or created. Outputs are usually finite either items created, such as a report or number of items you have produced, or numbers of people who have received skills training. While outputs are often the first step in creating the longer-term change you are looking for, they are not enough by themselves to be that change. It is the outcome that is the result the change you are looking for. Outcomes The changes that result from your organisation s activity for people, communities, the economy or aspects of the natural or built environment. They come either wholly or in part as a direct result of the organisation s actions (or outputs). Outcomes are sometimes planned and therefore may be set out in an organisation s objectives. Indicators that the outcomes have happened are what an organisation measures to know that it is meeting its objectives. Find a good name Names matter more than you might think. Get it right and your project will appear energetic and imaginative. There s a lot in a name, as any successful business will tell you. Whatever you do, avoid acronyms and complicated sounding names. After you ve written your bid Before you send it, check it You ve invested a lot of time in writing your bid so make sure it isn t spoilt by a silly error or through missing a vital piece of information. Call to check it has got there A positive interaction at this stage is important because it means you re likely to be remembered more than the others who haven t called. Make the most of the interview If you re offered an interview, do everything you can to make it in person rather than on the phone. Offer them a visit to your premises to see you working in action and if they take you up, inspire and excite them show how you re changing people s lives. Start creating the relationship You ve done it! They ve given you the money now the work starts. On the whole, funders prefer long-term relationships, so it s worth giving them your constant attention throughout the relationship. Write in a compelling style This means imposing a few rules on yourself. No long, rambling sentences and one idea per sentence. Your bid has to be something that is simple to read and inspires confidence. When you ve written a bid, give it to somebody you trust and who works in another field to review

14 4. Deciding on your legal structure It s easy to become bamboozled by the whole business of registering your social enterprise. Today, there s a lot of advice about legal structure for social entrepreneurs, and a good place to start is Social Enterprise UK s Keeping it Legal booklet available from Incorporated vs unincorporated? As the founder of a new venture, you ll need to decide on the most suitable structure for it. If you start as an unincorporated association, you need to know that you will be carrying all the responsibilities of the organisation personally. Incorporation the act of putting your new venture into a company puts clear legal water between you and your venture. This means your new venture can enter contracts or agreements with others as a legal entity separate from you. The business can, in its own right, sue and be sued, employ people and make them redundant, accumulate surpluses or make losses. However, there are some reasons why you may not want to incorporate: If income is tiny Your turnover may be so low, particularly early on, that you are not putting your personal finances on the line. Tax advantages As an unincorporated sole trader you can pay tax in arrears. Low regulation As an unincorporated business, you are not obliged to file annual returns and accounts to Companies House. The different types of incorporated and unincorporated business structures are all explained on the Business Link website: The six key benefits of incorporation for a social enterprise are explained on s website: The company There are three principal options if you want to incorporate your venture as a limited company: company limited by shares (CLS); company limited by guarantee (CLG); and either of these forms can also be incorporated as a community interest company (CIC). Limited companies exist in their own right. This means the company s finances are separate from the personal finances of their owners. The company limited by shares (CLS) The company limited by shares is the most common legal form for all business. When incorporating a CLS, share capital is divided into shares of fixed amounts and these are issued to shareholders. The shareholders become the owners of the company. A CLS is not specifically designed for social enterprises but it can be adapted for this purpose. Social Enterprises that choose the CLS structure ensure that their social mission is written in their governing documents along with what they intend to do with their profits. The company limited by guarantee (CLG) Companies limited by guarantee do not have shareholders, they have members instead. These members are the company s guarantors rather than shareholders. Because the members do not own shares in the company they cannot personally profit from any increased value in the company. The CLG is common for social enterprises

15 The community interest company (CIC) The CIC is a legal structure designed specifically for social enterprises. It is based on the standard company structure and can therefore be limited by share or by guarantee. However it has some additional protections in place when it comes to the organisation s social mission. Both forms of CIC must serve a community interest and be able to report on how it is serving this interest each year. Both have a statutory asset lock which ensures that the assets are retained within the CIC for community purposes. When it comes to the distribution of profit only CICs limited by share are able to distribute profits. There are however, considerable restrictions on how much profit can be taken out of a CIC in any year. More information on the various legal structures of can be found on the Companies House website and What about charitable status? The key feature of a charity is that it is established exclusively for charitable objects as defined in the Charities Act 2006 (see www. charity-commission.gov.uk). Many social enterprises are trading charities this is particularly useful if organisations have a mixed revenue model that relies on an element of fundraising. However it is important to note that charities, can only trade in pursuit of their charitable object (termed primary purpose trading ); so if your business is set up to advance education you can only sell services connected to education. You couldn t sell chocolate or graphic design services for example, because that in itself wouldn t forward the cause of education. To overcome this some charities set up a separate trading arm - a company of some kind that sits underneath the charity. Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) The CIO, is a new legal form for a charity that wants to be incorporated but does not wish to become a company. CIO s only have to register with the Charity Commission and not Companies House. This legal form was created in response to requests from charities for a new structure which could provide some of the benefits of being a company, but without some of the burdens. So what is the right legal model for you? This will depend on a number of combined factors: The balance of your mission between social and commercial goals. Your own need for control over strategy and decision making. The extent to which you care about owning a share in the venture. Your need for equity investment. Your need for grants and donations. The ethos and values of your new venture in terms of participation. The Companies House website (www.companieshouse.gov.uk) is a good resource for finding out about how you register your new business (CICs are still registered through Companies House), how to appoint directors and how to file returns and accounts to HM Customs and Revenue. Go to the Charities Commission website to find full details of how to register as a charity. An industrial and provident society business must be registered with the Financial Services Authority (www.fsa.gov.uk)

16 Company limited by share (CLS) Company limited by guarantee (CLG) Industrial and provident community benefit society Industrial and provident cooperative society Unincorporated association Community interest company/clg Community interest company/cls Incorporated with own legal ID? No Limited liability for members? No Limited liability for directors/ trustees? No Constitutional document? Memorandum and articles of association Memorandum and articles of association Rules Rules Rules or constitution Memorandum and articles of association Memorandum and articles of association Objects? Any Any Must benefit community Must follow co-operative ideals Any Community interest Community interest Charitable status? Not usually Can be Can be No Can be No No Regulator? Companies House Companies House FSA FSA None CIC Regulator and Companies House CIC Regulator and Companies House Fees for registration? , ,000 n/a Debt financing available? Equity financing? No No No No Protection of social purpose? not guaranteed unless charitable not guaranteed without charitable status FSA has to approve changes FSA has to approve changes None/ safeguards in constitution As CLG As CLS Membership voting? One vote per share One member one vote One member one vote One member one vote As per the constitution As CLG AS CLS NB legislation is currently under review for Industrial and Provident Societies This table shows you at a glance the different legal formats available

17 5. Finding & keeping the best people 6. Finding the right partners If you re going to deliver your vision, you ll largely be doing so through the good work of other people. Not only are people your greatest asset, they re also your biggest investment. How that investment performs depends on you so you ll probably need to spend more time on your people than you think. Selecting people If you re serious about changing the world, finding the right people to do it alongside you is very important. Find the wrong ones and your dream could be over. However busy you are, make the time to get personally involved in recruitment, especially when you re still quite small. For further information about the people side, please see Craig Dearden Phillps book Your Chance to Change the World, on which this guide is based. Available from Martin Kinsella says: Have a clear vision, be bold and make your own weather Martin Kinsella is Chief Executive of P3, a social enterprise based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, that operates across the east and west Midlands and in London. P3 has grown from under 1million turnover to 10 million since It has won numerous awards. P3 for the last 7 years has been at the very top of the Sunday Times Best Companies To Work For UK Top 100 List including the No.1 spot in 2007 and UK No.1 again in Increasingly, partnerships (from formal partnerships and joint ventures to looser collaborations) are a feature of the way the world works. When it comes to sectors like automotives or software, many of the key players collaborate as well as compete something that s occurring more in the social sector too. However, it s very important to understand what you are getting into and to get into the right partnerships at the right time and on the right terms. Some of the reasons why you might want to partner with another organisation are: To achieve major ambitions: If you have a big vision, often it won t be possible to achieve it alone you re going to have to work with others to make it happen. To grow your organisation s capacity: sometimes collaborating can help you build capacity quickly you can buy or borrow another company s resources to enable you to meet larger challenges than you are equipped for alone. To share risks: Sometimes a project can be desirable but could also bring you down if it fails. Sharing this risk with another organisation can be a way to achieve the task yet reduce the chances of damage to your enterprise. To bring skills on board: Our goals often require skills and knowhow we don t have in-house. A partnership can secure the key elements and enable you to gain a deeper understanding of those skills yourself. To raise money or win contracts: A coalition of organisations can present a much sought after holistic approach something that separate bids can seldom achieve

18 7. Keeping on top of the money The six vital ingredients of a good partnership. 1 2 Clear and unambiguous benefits for all members of the partnership. Efficient decision-making methods and processes. Success or failure very often comes down to how well a social entrepreneur manages their money. Someof this is very simple, but very important to get right. Setting up a new enterprise means that, whether you like it or not, you re going to have to get intimately involved in finance. So, when starting out there are a few basic things you must quickly get in place: Clearly agreed roles and deliverables agreed upfront and written down for each partner. A fair spread of both benefit and risk between every member of the partnership. A sensible and manageable amount of administration, meetings and paperwork for all involved. There must be trust and mutual respect. In an ideal world the partners should have shared values. Bank account: Preferably with a bank that s easy to deal with and understands your business. You may well want to think about using a bank with a social mission (see above) as the supply-chains of social enterprises are often helpful in maximising their positive social impact. Cash book: A vital piece of financial record-keeping detailing all of the payments into and out of your business s bank account. Sales invoice file: Where you keep all the invoices that you send out to customers/funders. Choosing more partners Usually, whilst a partnership project is being developed, ideas are shared between a couple of initial organisations but that may not be enough, you might need to bring more partners on board. Looking for partners calls for thinking about who would be interested in your planned service and what it could offer. Questions to ask yourself when considering partnerships are: Who else offers what you do? What other organisations are involved in helping your client group? Purchase invoice file: Where you keep all the invoices you receive from others asking for payment. Controlling your finances Once you have the basics set up, you ll then have to start managing your finances. You have a number of important financial control processes at your disposal and while you need to understand how these processes work, you should think about hiring a freelance book keeper to do this for you. Otherwise, having a friendly accountant on your Board or somewhere in your support network can make a world of difference. It can save you a huge amount of time and money. Which organisations could do more by adding your services or location as a base for their work? Which organisations could help you in planning the different aspects of your services? 34 35

19 8. Governance The basic elements of financial control include: Bank reconciliation statement: Explaining the reconciliation between the cash book and the bank statement. A budget: In its simplest form, a plan of all your income and spending during the year. Profit and loss (P&L) account: Your P&L shows how well the company has performed in its trading activities. Cash flow statement: A document showing your expenditure and expected income. Balance sheet: A snapshot in time of how the assets of the company are made up. Building a board of trustees and directors Unless you own your social enterprise company outright, you ll share decision-making power with other people your board. If you re the one who has founded and set up your venture that can be a challenge because it s the board of directors not you who are responsible for the organisation s overall strategy and direction. A really good board is critical to the success of your business in a number of ways: Individual board members may have expertise in a number of areas useful to the venture and can be called on to advise when needed. Some board members will have superb contacts and networks that can help. The board can provide you with important support for what you re seeking to achieve, as well as feedback on ideas and proposals. The chair of a board is an ideal strategic partner for you as chief executive. Remember that suitable board needs to have a balance of skills and expertise. Here are some of the ones you may like to prioritise: Finance skills: Ideally, your treasurer will be somebody who comes from a finance background and can read and understand audited accounts. User experience: The people who live the kind of life that is typical of your user group, stakeholders or beneficiaries on the social side need to be represented

20 9. Growing & scaling up your business Human resources skills: It is useful to have a board member with a background in HR to advise and support you on staff problems. Public relations skills: It is very useful to have someone on board to advise you on attracting the right kind of public attention. Senior management skills: It is important to have one person on your board who can oversee the development of the organisation in terms of the way it is managed and run. Entrepreneurial skills: You need to have likeminded people on the board; somebody who forces the board to be enthusiastic about new ideas and encourages them to take risks. Expanding your business from being small (up to 25 people) to being medium-sized ( people) is an incredibly exciting and challenging experience. It s tough because unlike before, you probably won t be in full control and there are lots of risks to tackle. You ll most likely have to spend money improving the infrastructure of your organisation before you know whether you can pay for it and you ll have to put your trust in other people to take your ideas forward. There are a number of ways to scale up a business. For further exploration of this topic see Craig Dearden-Phillips book Your Chance to Change the World, on which this book is based. also plans to produce a further guide on this topic shortly. Here are the basic possibilities for growing your social enterprise: Organic growth: Growing organically building your venture through gaining more business is the most gradual way to grow. Whilst this can be appealing as it involves you keeping control of things, it can also be very slow. This type of growth model is better suited to complex businesses that are tough to replicate. Franchising or replication: Franchising helps you grow rapidly and means that you share risks with a franchisee you don t take the full risk on yourself. With a franchise model you can quickly establish yourself as a brand, but you can lose control over the quality of the end product and if the franchise business fails, it can affect the parent company. Acquisition: Acquisition helps you grow rapidly but existing cultures can be resistant to being taken over. Lots of money needs to be spent on business integration and takeovers must be very well researched

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